Shared Services Encouraged For Municipalities
State Fire Marshal Larry Flowers today announced the availability of grant and loan application packages for Ohio’s fire service. These grants and loans are offered by the State of Ohio as a means to offset costs to local governments. They are provided for in the state budget passed in June by the Ohio General Assembly and signed by Governor John R. Kasich.
The grant application process encourages collaboration between multiple government agencies. This stems from Governor Kasich’s vision for an increase in shared services throughout the state.
“This is an exciting opportunity for local governments to work together to apply for and secure equipment grant funds,” said State Fire Marshal Larry Flowers. “This will allow multiple governments to share fire protection services in a more effective way and perhaps purchase equipment they may otherwise not have been able to afford.”
Two grant programs exist for volunteer fire departments, fire departments serving smaller communities, joint fire districts and governments which contract for fire protection from one of these types of departments or private companies. The opportunities include training grants and equipment grants.
“These programs allow Ohio’s fire departments to purchase new equipment and to receive the training necessary for first responders to better protect our citizens,” said Ohio Department of Commerce Director Andre Porter. “Firefighters must have the protective equipment they need to perform their jobs. We want to make sure that each responder will be able to serve fully and return home safely at the end of an emergency. These programs significantly enhance their ability to do that.”
A third program, the Revolving Loan program, assists local governments in expediting the purchase of major firefighting, rescue or EMS equipment and can also be used for the construction or renovation of fire department buildings. In 2013, the Village of Deshler, located in Henry County, received a $300,000 loan which they used to purchase a much needed new fire engine.
The application packages and complete criteria are available on the Division of State Fire Marshal’s web site at www.com.ohio.gov/fire.
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